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Least Sandpiper

From Opus

Photo © by JonBGuelph Lake, Ontario, August 2005
Photo © by JonB
Guelph Lake, Ontario, August 2005
Calidris minutilla


[edit] Identification

13–15 cm (5-6 in)
The only peep with yellow legs. It has short thin dark bill, brown with dark brown streaks on top and white underneath. Light line above the eye and a dark crown.

[edit] Similar Species

JuvenilePhoto © by bobsofpaFort Island Trail Beach, Crystal River, Florida, USA, August 2007
Photo © by bobsofpa
Fort Island Trail Beach, Crystal River, Florida, USA, August 2007

Semipalmated Sandpiper is plump compact looking, more white to throat, has slightly heavier black legs, and semipalmations between toes.
Western Sandpiper is lanky looking, has black legs, and semipalmations between toes. In Breeding plumage is heavily spotted on belly and is grayish withrufous on crown, auriculars, and scapulars.

[edit] Distribution

United States and northern South America: breeds northern North America; winters to southern South America and Hawaiian Islands.

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species[1].

[edit] Habitat

Photo © by icassellGilbert, Arizona, USA, April 2011
Photo © by icassell
Gilbert, Arizona, USA, April 2011

Tundra or in bogs. In migration found at mud flats, beachs, sod farms, etc.

[edit] Behaviour

Often in crouched position with knees very bent, feet planted forward (so far many times that they can appear to be feeding between their toes) and with belly much closer to ground than other peeps2. Usually found on shore instead of wading.

[edit] Breeding

The 4 eggs are laid in a shallow scrape on the ground, lined with grass and most. Both parents incubate.

[edit] Diet

These birds forage on mudflats; their diet includes small crustaceans, insects and snails.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from
  2. Cox, Cameron. North American Peeps: A Different Look at an Old Problem (
  3. The Website of Everything

[edit] External Links


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